The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu will go on sale sometime this fall with a starting price of $22,965 and a big fuel saving surprise: start/stop technology.
Earning an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, the 2014 Malibu is the first midsize sedan in the U.S. to equip start/stop technology as a standard feature in the base model. Stop/start technology works by shutting off the engine during stops and restarting it as soon as the brake pedal is deactivated, which helps reduce wasted fuel during engine idling. During these engine hiatuses a 12-volt battery powers everything electric, like radio, windows, air conditioning, and lights.
The start/stop system, using algorithms and statistics, monitors driving style, vehicle speed, climate control, and brake pressure to assess the benefits of shutting the engine off at a stop. If it determines it is efficient to do so, it does it. If not, it keeps the engine running. For example, in traffic it may not be efficient to do this as the car only stops momentarily, versus at a red light where the car could idle for up to 5 minutes.
Also improving the Malibu's fuel economy is Chevrolet's valve-actuation technology, Intake Valve Lift Control. During "low lift" mode, the engine pumps only the necessary amount of air into the engine, reducing unnecessary waste. It automatically switches to a "high lift" mode during more strenuous driving situations, like if the car is under heavier load or traveling at high speeds. This Intake Valve Lift Control reduces emissions while at the same time providing a more powerful feeling at lower speeds.
The 2014 2.5L Malibu is also host to a new transmission, called 6T45, which decreases the necessary energy to pump transmission fluid, thus saving fuel.
All around the board, the 2014 Malibu is chipping away at its fuel wasting, thus improving its fuel economy. With these new features, the 2.5L base model Malibu delivers better combined fuel economy than its competition, which includes the Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata, and Chrysler 200.
The 2014 Malibu isn't just more fuel efficient, though. It features some new traits that update not only the look, but the performance as well. The front end is updated, as is the center console, and the interior is roomier. With an updated suspension and 14% more torque (295 foot-pounds) from the available 2.0L turbo engine, the car has smoother and more powerful ride. Lastly, available as options are Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
The Malibu is available in several trim levels. Firstly, the LS, which is host to the 2.5L powertrain, is priced at $22,965. Next is the 1LT and 2LT, which cost $24,335 and $26,040 respectively. Lastly is the LTZ trim, which is priced at $28,515. All these prices do include the $825 destination charge.